John D. King 1926-2008



John Davidson King was born July 29,1926 to Donald Lawrence King and Christina Louise Burns in Paris, France where his father was studying at the Sorbonne. He grew up in Oxford, Ohio and Concord, N.H., where he graduated from high school. He came west, working on ranches and breaking horses in New Mexico, Wyoming and Montana.

He met Virginia Anderson in 1951 at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. They were married August 23, 1952, in Mauston, Wis., at her grandmother's home.

They lived in Billings, Mont., for several years and in October, 1958, drove up the Alaska Highway in a 1954 International 3/4 ton pickup. They were there for nine years, first in Anchorage and then in Fairbanks, where they moved for drier winters and the first state land auction. John worked as a journeyman carpenter and contracted to clear utility rights-of-way.

After the Fairbanks flood of 1967, they came "Outside." John finished college at Eastern Washington University in Cheney with a B.A. in Fine Arts. In his early years, he paid for his schooling by working in construction. In 1972, they moved to Oregon, first to LaGrande and in 1982, to Ashland.

John was interested in soils and became a master gardener, helping to start a community garden here in 1984. He also had a lifelong concern for Native Americans in the west and in Alaska, and treasured the friends he made. He was a founding member on the Board of Caring Friends.

He is survived by his wife, Virginia; brother-in-law Eric Anderson and wife, Barbara, out of Baker City, Ore.; nephews Paul Minault and wife, Joni, of Mill Valley, Calif., and Kent Minault of Los Angeles; Calif., nieces Denise ("DD") Minault of Franklin, Tenn., and Gail Minault of Austin, Texas, and other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, his step-mother, Dora Minault King, and step-brothers Sylvain and Paul Minault.

A memorial service will be held at the United Church of Christ, 717 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland, on Saturday, May 3rd 2:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers donations in his memory may be made to UCC for the Good Samaritan Fund to help needy people.

His ashes will be buried in the cemetery at North Powder, Ore.